Let's revive the two-party system

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez (The Freeman) - June 25, 2021 - 12:00am

Ever since President Marcos destroyed the two-party system during martial law, we never had any majority president, one who garners more than 50% of the total valid votes. A plurality president is one who gets the highest number of votes even if it is less than 50% of the total valid votes cast. Presidents FVR, Erap, GMA, Pnoy, and Duterte are all plurality presidents because there were so many candidates and the votes were shared by too many.

President Corazon Aquino never won an election. The official Comelec tally showed that she got 46.10% while Marcos got 53.62% in the 1986 snap elections. She came to power by a so-called revolution. A few thousand people in EDSA claimed sovereignty over the entire republic, and the USA with the Church and the business community installed Aquino not by popular vote but by the so-called People Power that abrogated the 1973 Constitution. The plurality presidents after Aquino, were Fidel Ramos with only 23.58 % (5,343,521) of the votes over Miriam Defensor Santiago's 19.72% (4,468,173). The rest of the votes were thinly spread among Danding Cojuangco, 18.17% (4,116,376); Ramon Mitra, 14.64% (3,316,661); Imelda Marcos, 10.32% (2,338,294) and Jovito Salonga, 10.16% (2,302,124). FVR could have easily lost if the votes of Salonga or Mitra went to Miriam. That's the evil of a multi-party system. There is too much democracy in running but no democracy in the final choice.

In 2004, GMA got only 39.99% (12,905,808), FPJ 36.51% (11,782,232), the rest were shared by Lacson 10.88% (3,510,080), Roco 6.45% (2,082,762), and Eddie Villanueva 6.16% (1,88,218). If the votes of Lacson went to FPJ, GMA would have lost. In 2016, Duterte got 16,601,997 (39.01%) against Mar Roxas, 9,978,175 (23.45%). The rest were spread to Grace Poe 9,100,991 (21.39%); Binay 5,416,140(12.73%), and Santiago 1,455,532 (3.42%). Roxas should have won had Poe given way to him. He would have won also if the votes of Binay and Santiago went to him. This situation happened because we had no party discipline, and we allowed too many candidates to run. If there were only two candidates in the elections of 2016, President Duterte might not have won.

Had FPJ run alone against GMA in 2004, he would have beaten Arroyo. The entry of Lacson, Roco, and Villanueva allowed GMA to win by a thin hairline. Had FVR run one-on-one against Santiago, she would have beaten FVR black and blue. The combined votes of more than 12 million for Cojuangco, Mitra, Marcos, and Salonga allowed Ramos to win over Santiago by less than a million votes. We are urging Congress to study the feasibility of reverting to the old reliable two-party system of the good old days. Manuel Quezon won by 67.99% over Emilio Aguinaldo's 17.53% in 1935. Then in 1941, Quezon again won by 81.78 % over Juan Sumulong who got only 18.22%. In 1946, Manuel Roxas of Capiz won 53.93% over Cebu's Don Sergio Osmeña Sr. who got 45.72%. In 1949, Elpidio Quirino of Ilocos Sur got 50.93% over Jose P. Laurel of Batangas who got 37.22%. They were all majority presidents.

In 1953, Ramon Magsaysay with 68.90%, defeated Quirino with 31.08%. In 1957, Bohol's Carlos P. Garcia got 41.28% over Laguna's Jose Yulo with 27.62% because there was a third candidate, Manuel Manahan with 20.90%. In 1961, Diosdado Macapagal got 55.05% over Garcia's 44.95%. In 1965, Marcos got 51.94% over Macapagal, 42.88%. In 1969, Marcos again got 61.47% over Serging Osmeña Jr.'s 38.51%. In 1973 Marcos got 90.67% over the NO votes which was only 9.33%. In 1977, Marcos again got 89.27% over the NO votes of 9.37%. In 1981, Marcos got tired of running against the NO votes and so, he created his own opponent, by the name of Alejo Santos who got a respectable 8.25% against his 88.02 %. Then, Cory ran against him in 1986.

Next elections, if Isko Moreno, Pacuiao, Lacson, Leni Robredo, and Bongbong Marcos will all run, it will make Inday Sara, the happiest girl in town. It will also make Manong Digong the most astute Machiavellian power broker and king maker in Asia, better than Mahathir of Malaysia or Sukarno of Indonesia. If Sonny Trillanes will also run that would be giving aid and comfort to the enemy. If Poe shall run, that would be the ultimate coup de grace. And my theory shall have been vindicated. Too many candidates will make the unworthy one get the plum. That is the tyranny of numbers, and we made it worse by abolishing the two-party system. Blame that on the father of Bongbong Marcos.

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